Russia Bans Fish Import from “Unfriendly” Countries

Taxes on wine imports also grew to an outrageous 20%.

The sanctions war between Russia and the collective West continues. On Tuesday, the Kremlin banned the import of fish, shellfish, and seafood from so-called “unfriendly countries,” that is, those that supported the anti-Russian sanctions policy of the USA and its allies.

As the representative of the Council of Ministers of Russia emphasized, “the decision was made as a response to the hostile actions of unfriendly countries and will remain in force until the end of 2023.” The ban will come into effect seven days after the official publication of the government decree.

According to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, the ban on the import of fish and products of other categories from the US, Japan, Norway, and some other EU countries “will free up significant market niches that Russian producers will immediately occupy, will be able to increase production, expand the range of products, and, finally, create many new jobs.”

In addition, Moscow has increased customs duties on the import of wine produced in “unfriendly” countries. The rate is raised from the current 12.5% to an outrageous 20%, but cannot be less than $1.5 per liter of wine.

Moscow’s decision will hit the Italian wine industry. In 2021-2022, Italy was the largest wine exporter to Russia, ahead of Spain and France. After exporting 112.2 million liters of wine to Russia in 2021, Italian exports recorded another jump of +19% in 2022, to 134.1 million liters. Incomparable with Italian figures were the results achieved by Spain and France that in 2021 sold 59.5 million liters and 39.4 million liters in Russia, respectively, and in 2022 they grew to 65.9 million liters and 39.3 million liters. The year 2023 also promised very good prospects for Italian winemakers in Russia: according to Russian customs, Italian wine exports to Russia increased by another 15 percent in the first three months of the year.